Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Norwegian frigate sunk in collision with oil tanker

Norwegian frigate sunk in collision with oil tanker

The Helge Ingstad was returning from the NATO Trident Juncture 18 exercises when it collided with the Maltese oil tanker Sola-which is reportedly undamaged and resuming its route from Norway to a terminal in northeast England, according to the website Marine Traffic.

The ship, which had recently taken part in the vast Trident Juncture NATO military drill in Norway, is "strongly listing", Stensoenes told a news conference Thursday afternoon.

The Norwegian coast guard said the collision involving the KNM Helge Ingstad frigate and the 113,000-dwt Sola TS (built 2017) happened in Hjeltefjorden, north of the Sture terminal.

The warship is now in danger of sinking, while the tanker, named the Sola TS, is slightly damaged and did not spill oil. The collision tore a large hole in the hull of the vessel, which began taking on water and had to be pushed into shallow coastal waters by tugboats to keep it from sinking.

Police and the national Accident Investigation Board were investigating the accident, which took place at 0326 GMT. Eight navy personnel are said to be injured, including two flown to regional hospital, Haukland, but the tanker Sola's 23 crew were all evacuated safely.

The Sture Terminal was closed after the collision, the report said.

"We are very glad that no lives got lost and that the injuries are not more serious than they are", he added.

The Navy quickly evacuated all the crew except for 10 essential staff members to prevent a possible fuel leak.

The main phase of the Trident Juncture 2018 training - in which more than 40,000 troops from 30 member countries and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation partners participated - took place from October 25 to November 7 in Norway and its surroundings. "Several offshore rigs that were pumping their production into the Sture terminal -a major export oil terminal- was shut down temporarily 'as a precautionary measure".

Officials said the KNM Helge Ingstad could sink after the collision, reported at 4:15am today.

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